This series of posts will follow my exploration in forthcoming Visual Studio "Orcas" features, focusing on developing Smart(er) Clients, or, as the above title permits, smarter developing of (desktop) clients. I'll begin the series with my "Orcas" installation experience.
As mentioned, you can try out VS "Orcas" by mounting a Virtual PC image or by a separate installation. Choosing VPC, you get Windows 2003, together with VS2005, SQL2005 and VS 9.0 ("Orcas") already installed. On the other hand, separate installer will install "Orcas" bits only. But before you do that, just make sure you don't have any previous "Orcas" CTPs installed on your PC or you'll get some weird installer errors, complaining on some files being missing from your temp folder. To help you with uninstalling unwanted CTP leftovers, see this page; in my case, I had to manually delete the "Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0" folder for a successful install.
To continue, there are some quite serious issues involved with the product installation, some of which are closely related to side-by-side installation with VS2005 and/or SQL2005 (see numbers I./7., II./19. and II./20. in Visual Studio Code Name "Orcas" Release Notes). Although the same release notes suggest using the March CTP from a VPC image, this doesn't seem to fix it, because both VS2005 and SQL2005 are co-installed with "Orcas", therefore suffering from this same issue. It looks like what we really need is a fresh, VS2005-less machine...
One of my next steps will include setting up a separate Windows Vista VPC with clean "Orcas" installation and see how it goes from there. But before that, we'll going to look into some new client features "Orcas" has in store for us... Stay tuned!